Author Archive | Paul Gabrielsen

Patrick Fulton, a geology post-doc at the University of California, Santa Cruz, holds temperature sensors retrieved from an earthquake fault more than seven kilometers under water to learn more about the devastating March 2011 Japan quake and tsunami. Photo by Paul Gabrielsen.

Return to Tohoku – Taking a big quake’s temperature

There’s a hole in the bottom of the ocean near Japan, the deepest ever drilled for science, that leads to the heart of one of the world’s most dangerous faults. Two years ago this fault, which marks the spot where one tectonic plate grinds past another, unleashed the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which devastated…

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It's not pretty. An elephant seal molts at Ano Nuevo State Park. Photo by Wikimedia user MonicaSP54.

A Catastrophic Molt

The elephant seals are back at California’s Año Nuevo State Park. But this is not their famous January breeding season, replete with cute newborn seals and brutal fights between males. Nope, this time they’re here to molt. The seals spend their month on land laying around the beach, languishing in the sun while giant patches…

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Patrick Daniel, of Squids4Kids, dissects a Humboldt squid at the 2012 Bay Area Science Festival. Photo by Ken Baltz

Squid: Science ambassadors

Marine biologist Bill Gilly wasn’t prepared for the greeting he received from St. Andrew’s Episcopal school in 2008. He’d come to the Saratoga, Calif. school to teach a special lesson on the Humboldt squid, complete with a dissection. Gilly approached the school and saw a line of ten-year-olds stretching out the door of his classroom….

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When NASA sends spacecraft to asteroids like these, be prepared for some funky, retro craft designs.

How to land on an asteroid

In the future, scientists want to be able to send spacecraft to study asteroids such as the one that will approach the Earth on Friday. A concept for these landers may look familiar to anyone who grew up in the 1970s. Egg-shaped and weighted at the bottom, the landers – prototype designs for a possible future NASA…

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Message on deep sea well equipment

Be Prepared

I am a newbie to the Pacific Coast, but I am no stranger to living on a fault. As a kid in Utah I stuffed emergency kits with my parents and dove under my desk during earthquake drills at school. When you live in earthquake country, it pays to be prepared. An international science team’s…

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